Officer Breann Leath’s friends strive to ‘Be Like Bre’ daily as they work through grief one year later

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INDIANAPOLIS — This week marks the one-year anniversary since Officer Breann Leath’s death. The beloved officer was killed in the line of duty on April 9, 2020 while responding to a domestic disturbance.

To our city, she’s a hero who served Indy and wore the badge honorably. But to those closest to her, Bre was more. She was a compassionate mother and doting friend.

Michaela Eakle and Bre grew up together and made memories to last a lifetime.

“She was just so fun,” Eakle said. “She was the funniest person. The whole Leath Family is like that, that’s where she gets it from. They’re all just very inviting, you have a good time being around them no matter what you’re doing.”

Bre is the first person who found out Eakle was pregnant with her baby girl.

“Instantly she drove to my house and brought me Gatorade and crackers because I was so sick,” Eakle said.

Eakle looked up to Bre as a mother and relied on her for the first few months of her daughter’s life. The baby was born in January 2020, and Bre’s life was taken that April.

“She was just so good with Zayn, and I don’t really have that now,” Eakle said.

Officer Marina Gonzalez is another one of Bre’s closest friends. They went through the police academy together, and actually lived so close to one another they carpooled.

Now, Gonzalez has the privilege of driving Bre’s patrol car.

“I know she’s with me, I just know she’s with me,” Gonzalez said. “On some runs more than others, I get it, you’re there.”

Bre used her 24 years on earth to shine a light in the darkness and display the best qualities of a person.

“There’s a hole in your heart,” Gonzalez said. “But you go on because you hear her, ‘Keep going.’ And it’s more just to make her proud.”

Those who love her said they feel a responsibility to always ‘Be Like Bre.’

This week, IMPD is hosting several events to honor Leath’s life. There is a work-out in her honor Thursday. You can find more information on the department’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/IMPDNews.

The department will release a video tribute on Friday. Then, a graveside service will also be held before a Maternal-Child Health Unit at the Indiana Women’s Prison is re-dedicated to be named after Bre.

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